Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 8:30 AM EDT
Friday, March 20, 2020 at 2:00 PM EDT

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4307 Emperor Blvd., Suite 110
Durham, NC 27703

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About the Sandbox Institute

The Sandbox Institute is TJCOG's training and education program that is open to all general stakeholders and is focused on teaching the critical skills and methodologies that can help local governments think and act strategically about both their local community vision and regional goals. 


Jenny Halsey 
Triangle J Council of Governments 

Innovation Academy with Brian Elms 

Improve Service, Save Money, Engage Employees

TJCOG's Sandbox Institute is excited to offer local government staff the chance to spend 3 days with Brian Elms, founder of Denver Peak Academy and C!A's Innovation in Government Practice lead, in a Regional Innovation Academy. The workshop will be an immersive learning experience combining innovation, lean and process improvement, and change management practices through hands-on exercises and real-world simulation. Attendees will receive customized training handouts and a copy of Brian's book Peak Performance which details how his team created Denver's innovation program.

Registration costs are tiered by population size to make the workshop accessible to as many communities as possible; all tiers are below the normal rate of $1800. Communities will be invoiced for payment.

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Designed by government employees for government employees, this unique, proven model provides employees with the simple tools and techniques to tackle small problems and deliver big results. A fundamental component of the Innovation Academy curriculum that makes is so valuable and relevent for government is that it teaches employees to make improvements with existing staff and monetary resources. 

About Brian

Brian Elms is the author of Peak Performance and is the former Director of Peak Academy and Analytics for the City and County of Denver. He specializes in government innovation and has more than 15 years of experience providing program management expertise to government agencies, elected officials, trade associations, and nonprofit organizations. Brian started his career in public service after graduating from Regis University and joining the National School and Community Corps (AmeriCorps) as a team leader. He also worked for the Rendell Administration in Pennsylvania as the Policy Director for the Department of Aging. After working in Washington, D.C., for AARP as a Legislative Specialist for health and long term care, Brian moved back to his hometown and served as the Assistant Director of Government Affairs at Denver International Airport.

Brian is a Lean Black Belt, a certified Six Sigma Green Belt, and a Change Management Professional. In his prior role as Director of the Peak Academy, he developed curriculum, training, and consulting services that focus on employee-led performance management and continuous improvement. Since its inception in 2012, Peak Academy initiatives have saved the City and County of Denver more than $30 million and the Academy has provided training to more than 7,000 public and nonprofit professionals.

Brian joined the Change & Innovation Agency to focus on creating employee-driven innovation programs around the country. He is currently working with multiple cities to launch programs and establish meaningful innovation programs that improve the lives of employees and their clients.